Adapting to the “New Normal” in O&G Construction: How the Market Will Endure Growing Regulatory, Labor and Commodity Pricing Pressures


On February 24, President Obama vetoed legislation authorizing TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline. The 7-year regulatory saga is emblematic of the regulatory and public relations burdens on U.S. energy projects. With the Keystone veto, this burden will grow.
 
However, the difficulties faced by the U.S. energy infrastructure market do not end there. Trade labor markets are tightening and lower commodity prices have made funding and executing projects a struggle. These three factors – regulatory uncertainty, trade labor constraints, and commodity pricing volatility – represent a “new normal” for energy infrastructure markets in the U.S. They also present a unique opportunity for the contractor community to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing marketplace.
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REMIT: Bringing Physical Commodity Trading into the Regulatory Spotlight


As far back as the 1986 Financial Services Act, regulators in the UK have had the authority to oversee activities related to commodity derivatives, but until recently, their presence was negligible. Despite the advent of the Financial Services and Markets Act in 2000 and a move from self to statutory legislation, the regulatory focus on commodities remained limited. The weight of rule-making was restricted to just two small handbooks—one for energy market participants (EMPs) and one for oil market participants (OMPs). With the Regulation on Wholesale Energy Market Integrity and Transparency (REMIT), however, that is about to change. In this article, David Wardley and Owen LaFave discuss REMIT, its anticipated impact and what companies need to do to ready their organizations for compliance.
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Things that Go Bump in the Night: Litigation Risks that Leave Oil and Gas CEOs Sleepless


When oil executives turn in for the night, despite daily efforts to cross T’s and dot I’s, they know the road ahead is paved with legal risk. With the advent of innovative horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing technologies, exploration and production companies are actively engaged in a hot pursuit for oil from shale plays in an environment fraught with legal and regulatory uncertainty.
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DOT COMPLIANCE RESPONSIBILITIES INCREASE FOR RAIL SHIPMENTS OF CRUDE OIL IN THE AFTERMATH OF TRAIN DERAILMENTS


In the wake of recent freight train derailments involving crude oil, U.S. regulators have issued various advisories and alerts that companies need to incorporate in their assessment of the hazardous nature of their crude oil rail shipments and proper tank car packaging. Specifically, the tragic Lac-Mégantic train accident in Quebec on July 6, 2013, followed by additional crude oil train derailments in the United States, triggered a flurry of regulatory activity designed to increase the safe rail transportation of crude oil.
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